May 21, 2021/ 5:00 PM - 7:30 PM

Great East Japan Earthquake: Japan 2011 | 2021 | 2031

Second Event in the Global Japan Forum: 2011 | 2021 | 2031

The first of a series, this event looks back to 2011 and the Great East Japan Earthquake to uncover perspectives on the past decade may yield insights for the decade ahead.

The UCLA Terasaki Center for Japanese Studies Global Japan Forum aims to strengthen ties between the U.S. and Japan. By re-envisioning and revitalizing the field of Japanese studies in the 21st Century, we highlight the need to rethink conventional practices in the study of Japan amidst changing geopolitical realities and the shifting academic environment.

Working with two U.S. partners—UC Berkeley’s Center for Japanese Studies, and the Japanese Studies Program at the University of Washington, this year’s Global Japan Forum will be comprised of separate events addressing three of the main issues affecting Japan today: the Great East Japan Earthquake, the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster, and COVID-19. In 2021, Japan commemorates the 10th anniversary of the 2011 Great East Japan earthquake and tsunami, while facing the COVID-19 global pandemic and challenges to hold the 2020/21 Tokyo Olympics. What lies ahead?  This symposium seeks to take stock of these pressing questions at this important juncture between past, present, future.

This first event looks back to 2011 and the Great East Japan Earthquake. What perspectives on the past decade may yield insights for the decade ahead?  How will Japan location on the “Ring of Fire”/Pacific Rim continue to influence choices made by society and its leaders?

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Welcome Remarks by Associate Director Seiji Lippit – 5 minutes

Session 1 “2011” – 40 minutes

-       Presentation by Professor Yasuaki Onoda (15 minutes)

-       Conversation (25 minutes)

Session 2 “2021” – 40 minutes

-       Presentation by Professor Shunya Yoshimi (15 minutes)

-       Conversation (25 minutes)

Session 3 “2031” – 40 minutes

-       Presentation by Professor Maki Oonishi (15 minutes)

-       Conversation 25 minutes

Group Discussion – 20 minutes

Closing Remarks – 5 minutes

Session 1  “2011”

Yasuaki Onoda, Professor, Tohoku University

Yasuaki Onoda would be the most noted architectural planner in recent Japan. He became recognized in the field after his contribution to a masterpiece of contemporary architecture, Sendai Mediatheque by Toyo Ito in 2001. In 2003, he received AIJ (Architectural Institution of Japan) prize, which is a prestigious prize in the field of architecture in Japan, for Reihoku Community Hall Project with Hitoshi Abe. Since the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami in 2011, he has been playing an important role as an organizer for reconstruction projects in disaster affected areas and contributed to realize some good architecture in a severe front line of reconstruction from the disaster, being part of Archiaid and received some important design awards. In Oct. 2018, Chinese version of his AIJ award book, “Pre-Design Thinking of Architecture” was published by Wu-Nan Book Inc., Taipei. As chairman of the Architectural Planning Committee of the Architectural Institute of Japan, he is working to improve the architect selection in Japan and to promote pre-design as a bridge between architectural planning research and practice.


Hitoshi Abe, Director, UCLA Terasaki Center for Japanese Studies

Hitoshi Abe, Professor and former Chair in the Department of Architecture and Urban Design at the School of Arts and Architecture and Chair in the Study of Contemporary Japan and the Director of the UCLA Paul I. and Hisako Terasaki Center for Japanese Studies. Since 1992, when Dr. Hitoshi Abe won first prize in the Miyagi Stadium Competition and established Atelier Hitoshi Abe, he has maintained an active international design practice based in Sendai, Japan, as well as a schedule of lecturing and publishing, which place him among the leaders in his field. Some of his most recent publications include Hitoshi Abe (Phaidon, 2009), Hitoshi Abe Flicker (Toto shuppan, 2005) and Project Book (Shokokusha, 2005). Known for architecture that is spatially complex and structurally innovative, the work of Atelier Hitoshi Abe has been published internationally and received numerous awards in Japan. His most recent works in progress include a departmental building on the New Campus of the Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU), and the 3M Headquarters building in St. Paul, Minnesota.


Session 2  “2021”

Shunya Yoshimi, Professor, Tokyo University

Dr. Yoshimi, Professor of Sociology, Cultural Studies, and Media Studies, is the author of many books on cultural theory, urban culture, international exposition, media culture, information technology, the emperor system, and Americanization in modern Japan and East Asia. He has been a leading scholar in the field of Media and Cultural Studies in contemporary Japan. He has been a visiting fellow of El Colegio de Mexico (1993), Ecole des Hautes Etudes Sciences Sociales (1998), University of Western Sydney (1999), and Queensland University (2000). He is a member of the executive committee of Inter-Asia Cultural Studies (Routledge), editorial board of Cultural Studies (Routledge), associate editors of Theory, Culture & Society (Sage), and the editorial advisory board of Japanese Studies (Carfax Publishing).

Ken Tadashi Oshima, Professor, University of Washington, Seattle

Dr. Oshima is a specialist in modern architecture of Japan in a global context. His publications include Kiyonori Kikutake: Between Land and Sea (2016), Architecturalized Asia (2013), GLOBAL ENDS: towards the beginning (2012), International Architecture in Interwar Japan: Constructing Kokusai Kenchiku (2009) and Arata Isozaki (2009).  He has curated numerous exhibitions including “Beyond Japan” (Taniguchi Museum of Architecture, Kanazawa, 2020), "Tectonic Visions Between Land and Sea: Works of Kiyonori Kikutake" (Harvard GSD, 2012) and co-curator of “Frank Lloyd Wright: Unpacking the Archive" (co-curator, MoMA, 2017) and “Crafting a Modern World: The Architecture and Design of Antonin and Noemi Raymond" (UPenn, UCSB, Kamakura Museum of Modern Art, 2006-7). He served as President of the Society of Architectural Historians from 2016-18 and has been a visiting professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Design and taught at Columbia University.  


Session 3  “2031”

Maki Oonishi, Guest Professor, Yokohama National University

Maki Oonishi, with her husband Yuki Hyakuda, is a practicing architect located in Tokyo, Japan. She is also guest professor at Yokohama National University (YGSA). One of the firm’s earliest built works, the Home for All for Children in Higashimatsushima, was designed to create a community-oriented space for children impacted by the 2011 Earthquake. Unusually, much of the work by the young firm is designed to address public and community needs, including libraries, a town office, a community center and a jobs center.

Dana Buntrock, UC Berkeley

Dana Buntrock's research and teaching focuses on contemporary Japanese architecture, including how architects engage the construction industry and how architects today incorporate traditional and innovative materials and assemblies. She has written two books and over a hundred articles on Japan’s architecture, published in English, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, and Spanish. In 1998, Dana was a post-doctoral fellow at the Institute for Industrial Science at the University of Tokyo, funded by the National Science Foundation and the Japan Society for the Promotional of Science and in 2006-2007 she was in Japan on a Fulbright Research Fellowship. Today she serves on the JSPS Alumni Board of Directors. Dana headed UC Berkeley’s Center for Japanese Studies from 2015-2020.


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